Sea turtles rehabilitated in Charleston released back into ocean
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Seven sea turtles are back in the Atlantic Ocean after finishing up rehabilitation at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston.
Aquarium officials called the release “serendipitous” as the sea turtles were released the same week as Earth Day.
“To witness these sea turtles return home on the cusp of a day dedicated to the world we all share is incredibly inspiring,” Sea Turtle Care Center Manager Melissa Ranly says. “It takes time and effort, and a ton of helping hands, to rescue, rehabilitate and release these animals, and we’re grateful to be a part of their journey home.”
Six of the seven turtles released were cold-stunned patients from the New England area.
Related: South Carolina Aquarium caring for 15 cold-stunned sea turtles from New England
With this latest release, 14 of the 15 cold-stunned patients admitted back in December have been released, S.C. Aquarium spokesperson Susan McLaughlin confirmed.
The other turtle released is a green sea turtle that got stranded near Hilton Head Island.
Earlier this week, the turtles were all let go off of Little Talbot Island State Park in Jacksonville, Florida.
The South Carolina Aquarium says they release sea turtles in Florida this time of year because of the warmer waters.
This brings the total number of sea turtles returned to the wild by the Aquarium this year to 17, with a total of 379 sea turtles released to date, a news release states.
“The aquarium would be remiss to not recognize the collaborative efforts required to care for sick and injured sea turtles,” the news release from the aquarium states. “From the rescuers and transporters up and down the coast and the government entities assisting, to the staff and volunteers working tirelessly to protect this species, sending seven sea turtles home was truly a moment symbolic of what Earth Day is all about.”
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